Animal-Loving Stars and Their Pets—John Wayne, Amanda Blake, Clint Eastwood, Elvis, Doris Day…

Red Carpet Critters

From pampered pooches to lions, and cheetahs, and chickens, oh my! These animals hit the luxury lifestyle lottery as four-legged family members of some of Hollywood’s biggest pet-loving stars.

1. John Wayne

His childhood pup, Duke gave this cowboy hero his nickname and paved the way for a lifelong love of dogs. Did you know one of those dogs belonging to the star of ChisumRooster Cogburn, and other INSP fan-favorite films was a hero? Wayne was on location in Japan in 1958 when his California home caught on fire—with his wife Pilar and baby daughter Aissa asleep inside. Thanks to the incessant barking of one tiny, but mighty, Dachshund named Blackie, Wayne’s family, with the dog in tow, made it out safe and sound.

Young John Wayne and his best friend, Duke.


Ethan Wayne


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A post shared by Ethan Wayne (@travelingwithfinn)

Like Father Like Son

Ethan Wayne carries on his father’s legacy with his work at John Wayne: An American Experience—and with his love of dogs. Meet his traveling companion, Finn.

2. Amanda Blake

Amanda Blake, best known and loved for her role as Miss Kitty on Gunsmoke, was also a well-known animal lover, with a particular affection for cats—really big cats. It was common for her to bring her lion cub Kemo on set during filming. One day, Miss Kitty’s kitty was just a little too vocal with his rumbling baby lion roars, just as the cameras rolled and James Arness spoke his lines. Kemo got his eviction notice. Though, in addition to Kemo, Blake kept a leopard, and 10 cheetahs, among other exotic cats on her land, she was quick to explain they were not pets but free to roam in their natural habitat.

3. Trace Adkins


Whether he’s dishing out straight talk, telling cowboys to “pack their personals” on Ultimate Cowboy Showdown, or captivating concert audiences with his distinct country style, there’s no mistaking the deep, smooth voice of Trace Adkins. Cowboy to the core, it’s no surprise he’s an animal lover. Meet Gary, his feisty canine bud, who seems to have as keen an observant eye as his human. We bet this compact, yet powerhouse pup can sing, too.

4. Doris Day

Doris Day was as famous for her tireless work as an animal welfare advocate as she was for her talent as an actress in popular movies including The Ballad of JosieCalamity Jane, among others, and singer of such hits as Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be). The seeds of her animal rights activism were sowed in Morocco on the set of 1956’s The Man Who Knew Too Much during the filming of a marketplace scene. Day was so stricken by the poor condition of the goats, sheep, camels, donkeys, and horses that she approached director, Alfred Hitchcock, and said she couldn’t work until the animals were fed and properly looked after. In 1971, Day co-founded Actors and Others for Animals. Seven years later she founded what is now the Doris Day Animal Foundation, leaving a legacy of helping animals in need.

5. Jimmy Stewart

When James Stewart talked about animals it was with unabashed love and filled with heartfelt emotion. After his beloved dog Beau passed, Stewart wrote a poem about the bond he shared with the pup and read it on The Johnny Carson Show in July of 1981. Not only was Stewart choked up, but the quick-witted late night talk show host had to dab away a few tears of his own. At one point, Kelly and Judy, the two Golden Retrievers pictured were misbehaving. Jimmy and his wife Gloria sent them away to a well-known trainer’s six-week program. It lasted one night. Jimmy couldn’t stand being in the house without the dogs—even if obedience was not their strong point. His connection to animals extended to an uncanny rapport with a horse named Pie, too. Stewart rode Pie in 17 movies including Winchester 73Night Passageand The Naked Spur. Read more about Jimmy and Pie in The Horses of Hollywood.

6. Elvis Presley

“The King of Rock and Roll” held a deepfelt love for the animal kingdom. In 1957, Elvis Presley bought Graceland, a stunning mansion surrounded by nearly 14 acres—which quickly became home to all manner of critters! Some of the animals that graced the grounds of Graceland included chickens, ducks, peacocks, hogs, a turkey named Bowtie, donkeys, a squirrel monkey named Bambi, and a mynah bird that mimicked “Elvis is asleep” or “Elvis isn’t here” whenever someone called for the star. Two of Elvis’ favorite horses were Rising Sun, a palomino quarter horse, and Bear, a Tennessee Walker. On two occasions, Australian fans sent the suave crooner wallabies, which he donated to the Memphis Zoo. Among his many dogs was a Bassett Hound named Sherlock. And Amanda Blake’s lion wasn’t the only “pet” shown the door on set. One day, Elvis’ chimpanzee Scatter got loose. The mischievous monkey made his way to producer Samuel Goldwyn’s office and trashed the place! He was unceremoniously escorted out by security and henceforth confined to Graceland.

7. Marilyn Monroe

In her relatively short life, actress Marilyn Monroe was a pet parent to six dogs, including Hugo the Bassett Hound she had with third husband playwright Arthur Miller (Miller got custody of the dog after the divorce), and Maf, a white poodle that Frank Sinatra bought from Natalie Wood’s mother as a gift for Monroe. Though she preferred dogs, Monroe was a pet-mom to a few other species. Among them were Mitsou, a Persian cat, Butch, a parakeet, and Ebony, a horse.

8. Clint Eastwood


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A post shared by Alison Eastwood (@alison.e.wood)

On screen, Clint Eastwood is one tough cowboy not to be crossed. But this weathered, squinty-eyed, no-nonsense bad boy has a soft spot—for animals. Some of the creatures that have roamed the Eastwood residence include an 80-pound tortoise, a pig, chickens, a guinea pig, a chinchilla, rats, and birds. What? No cats and dogs. The star of Two Mules for Sister SaraThe Outlaw Josey WalesJoe Kidd, and Pale Rider, among other hit Westerns, is allergic to cats and certain dog breeds.

All in the Eastwood Family

Growing up surrounded by nature in Carmel, California, former actress Alison Eastwood, daughter of Clint and his first wife Maggie, has always been drawn to helping animals in need. She learned by example, as her parents once had the family care for an orphaned fawn. Today, Alison devotes her time to Eastwood Ranch Foundation, the non-profit she founded that rescues shelter animals in danger of being euthanized.

Other Notable Hollywood Pet-Parents

Gregory Peck was working on The Gunfighter when he learned that his Alsatian Police Dog, Slip was about to give birth. The actor arrived home to find a healthy mama dog and 13 adorable puppies.

Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart’s love story is legendary. Though Bogie was 45 and Bacall a mere 19 when they met, the couple had much in common including a love for all dogs. But the wedding gift of a one-week-old Boxer they named Harvey made them partial to the breed.

Clark Gable adored his Irish Setter, Queen. He also had horses on his California ranch.